Stomach bugs are unpleasant. The norovirus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. Usually associated with travel and cruise ships, if you stay out of crowds you are safe, right? Maybe not. Here are 5 disturbing facts about the stomach bug.
1. You Can be Contagious for Months
You may think that disinfecting everything protects you against the norovirus. But, it is surprisingly resistant. In addition to that, it spreads quickly. With an average incubation period of a little over a day, you wouldn’t even know you were contagious.
Viral shedding doesn’t stop before after symptoms end either. An average healthy person can still be contagious for a few months after infection. The time goes up to years if you are immunocompromised.
2. Wash Your Hand Often When in Crowded Places
Also, even though the norovirus is very resistant to disinfectants, you should still wash your hands a lot, especially if you are in crowded public areas. Outbreaks can happen in a variety of ways. From consuming contaminated foods to touching infected surfaces. Even unknowingly coming into contact with someone shedding the virus.
3. Some People Are More Vulnerable
How the norovirus affects you may depend largely on your genes. There are different strains of norovirus. The same person can be infected multiple times over their life by different strains.
Generally, healthier people may bare experience symptoms, while immunocompromised people have severe reactions.
4. Norovirus Can Bring Other Gut Problems
Additionally, norovirus may be a trigger for other diseases of the gut. This means that it is possible that the virus interacts with the bacteria and pathogens normally in your body. But, it will alter them to allow infections to happen.
5. No Cure – Yet
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the stomach bug yet. Though, recent research looks promising. Researchers have discovered that certain biological factors in mice can kill the virus. Or, at least slow it down.
The disturbing facts about the stomach bug is that it is probably closer than you think. The best thing you can do for yourself is wash your hands frequently. Also, be vigilant about cleanliness when you touch or eat things.